Comforted by Banana Nut Muffins

We’ve had an incredibly busy August which lead to feeling like the summer whizzed by. Can you believe it’s already the beginning of September? Β And to think, when Al and I decided to spend the summer parked in the same RV Resort for four months, I thought for sure I’d be bored and ready to roll after the first month. But Prescott, Arizona, is a lovely community surrounded by beauty which kept me entertained and the camera clicking. We had a great summer!

sunset at Goldwater Lake

Goldwater Lake, Prescott, Arizona

As the end of August rolled around, it was time for us to get the wheels rolling again. I’ll be honest, I had a few mixed emotions about packing up and leaving and actually thought about staying another month, but with twinges of hitch itch nipping at my heels, I knew it was time for a new backyard.

camping in Kaibab National Forest

My new yard. Our home for the Labor Day weekend

Currently I’m sitting in the Kaibab National Forest just south of the Grand Canyon surrounded by tall pine trees and enjoying the crisp fresh air. Wow, talk about a change of scenery along with cooler temperatures. I found myself pulling out pants and a sweatshirt camping in Kaibab National Forest near Grand Canyonas the evening temperatures dropped into the 50’s … refreshing, and ah, the smell of pine is intoxicating!

As I sit here relishing the tranquil beauty around me, I feel incredibly lucky yet overcome with sadness. Mother Nature can be gracious and bless us with amazing desert sunsets or spectacular beach sunrises or she can lower her hammer sending death and destruction.

This past week, the Texas Gulf Coast certainly felt Mother Nature’s wrath when she sent hurricane Harvey ashore. I’ve stayed glued to my computer following news stories and getting updates from friends via Facebook and email. The photos and updates are heartbreaking.

Banana bread

I need some comfort food!

Al and I have a special relationship with the Rockport area (this is where the center of the hurricane came ashore). Rockport has been our winter home for the past four years and just a little ways down the coast is where my parents used to winter. Al was also stationed in the area during his military days. Thus, you can see, we have a fond connection to this part of the Texas Gulf Coast.

bird photography

This little guy poses nicely for me. I’m sad there won’t be any Texas birding for me this winter.

For obvious reasons, our usual Texas sojourn won’t be happening this winter. I always look forward to our visits which includes communing with shore birds and reconnecting with friends. I’ll definitely miss this years excursion. I’m afraid if I talk anymore about this disaster the flood of tears will short out my laptop πŸ˜ͺ

banana muffinsSo instead of crying, let’s head into the kitchen and bake up something comforting … well, at least comforting to me.

I’ve always loved banana bread, and it usually makes me think of my mom. She made the best, and I could literally devour half a loaf in one sitting provided she didn’t take it away from me.

Because of this lack of will power, I make muffins instead of loaves and can usually limit myself to one a day. But as my emotions run rampant thinking of the Gulf Coast, my mom (RIP), and her favorite beach in Texas …. I think two or three πŸ˜‹ might be in order. I need something to comfort my emotions. I’ll take an extra long hike tomorrow 🐾

Banana Nut MuffinsBanana Nut MuffinsΒ 
4 very ripe bananas
5 Tablespoon of melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons of brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add melted butter and sugar and mix well. Mix in egg, coffee and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, and salt mixing until all ingredients incorporated well. Fold in walnuts. In a paper lined muffin tin, divide batter equally by filling each muffin cup about 3/4 full.

Bake in a preheated oven – 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12.

Banana nut muffins

Stay strong Texas … You’re not alone … sending prayers and support!

never alone in the woods

Never alone !

BTW – this is not my mom’s banana bread recipe. I don’t know what I do wrong, but mine never tastes as good as hers did. My mom was a great baker. Oh well, I found this recipe online a few years ago and tweaked it and am sharing my version. It’s not the same as mom’s, but it’ll do. Hope you enjoy it!

Some items I used during this post – pls note: these are affiliate links πŸ˜€

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41 thoughts on “Comforted by Banana Nut Muffins

  1. Maybe you should point your rig to the west as in Anza Borrego Desert this winter. These muffins looked yummy! I just copied your oatmeal squares with a twist. It was still good but not as good as yours. I thought wildflowers are not for picking :)…your food photography is getting better each time you post your yummies.

    • Yep, Borrego is on my radar. Since we don’t have any reservations for Jan, Feb, Mar… I figured we’d boondock around the desert SW. I love these banana muffins and hope to be making another batch in a few days. Thanks for the compliment on the photos – a work in process!

  2. I’ve thought about you since the hurricane hit Rockport and wondered if you’ve been in touch with anyone there. My friend’s daughter and family live(d) in Port A and ran a beach front business there. Not wiped out but lots of terrible damage. Just unbelievable.

    • It’s heartbreaking to see footage of the area. We’re in touch with the handyman of the RV Park in Lamar,TX. He road out the storm and is lucky to be alive. Rockport, Fulton, Lamar, Holiday Beach were all hit pretty hard. It will take a very long time to recover πŸ˜ͺ

      • And all those small businesses are going to be decimated if they can’t reopen soon, especially in time for their regular winter visitors. I won’t be a bit surprised, though, if most of them aren’t up and running again in 60 days, definitely by Thanksgiving. I sure hope so.

        • Part of the reason we’d still like to go to TX is to support the local economy. They really rely on tourism (winter Texans) and we’d like to do our part. Al and I aren’t bothered by things not being perfect or places under construction. We just want to see the area rebuild and recover.

  3. So heartbreaking what has happened in Texas. It’s surreal to see the video and images. Your disappointment and sadness is certainly understandable. The muffins look delicious and I hope brought some comfort.

    • The muffins indeed provided comfort along with an expanding waistline 😏 Guess I’ll need to increase the hiking. It’s hard to wrap my head around some of the images from Texas. I know it’s ten times worse in person. Photos can never exemplify the true magnitude of the disaster.

  4. I think we are all thinking a lot about Texas…especially Houston and Rockport. Your new home looks inviting and refreshingly cool.

    I love banana bread and do the same with making them muffins. I have to say, I have never put coffee in mine…something new to try. πŸ˜‰

    • The coffee in the muffins isn’t necessary but it adds a little flavor depth. I also add coffee to my chili. I was so looking forward to visiting TX this winter – heartbroken and sad. So many people lost everything. I can’t even begin to comprehend ☹

      • I know, Texas is going to have problems for some time, being familiar with wind and flood damage, these things do go back to normal overnight. I hope they continue to stay strong as they face the challenges in the near future.

  5. Thank you for the recipe Ingrid. The addition of coffee intrigues me. My heart is breaking for Rockport. That was our best RVing experience so far. We were looking forward to seeing you and Al again and going kayaking! We are floundering, trying to figure out where to spend winter, but realize how lucky we are that we can choose. Hoping our paths cross again!

    • So glad you commented. We were thinking about you guys and wondering how your plans may change. We’ll probably stay in the west and visit some spots I’ve wanted to explore. With a home on wheels, we always have options. Please stay in touch and let me know where you guys end up wintering.

  6. No matter how much we try, we never seem to be able to match our mother’s skills in the kitchen. Some of my favorite memories of my mom have to do with baking. It’s a shame about Texas, but it’s good to see they’re handling things much better than they did with Katrina. With all the negativity in our country, it’s wonderful to see people coming together to help.

    • You are so right about not being able to match our mother’s skills. My mom made the best baked goods. That’s probably why I have such a sweet tooth.
      I’m hoping the recovery in Texas is swift and without turmoil. So sad to see!

    • We’ll probably meander around the desert boondocking in western AZ and parts of CA. There’s some spots I’ve always wanted to visit but because of our Texas sojourns, we haven’t had the chance to explore. All about priorities and when the ducks are calling …. well, need I say more πŸ˜† The ducks will have to wait for Al until next year!

  7. My heart is breaking for the people of Rockport and all of the people affected by Harvey. I kept looking for news of Rockport and watched a couple of videos of the damage. As I saw the footage I thought of you and Al and your wonderful winters there. I was happy to see the big tree survived although many of the younger trees didn’t. I found this link about status of Texas State Parks that were affected by the storm https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/park-information/hurricane-harvey Looks like Mustang Island and Goose Island suffered a lot.

    Your muffins sound wonderful although I always used pecans instead of walnuts. It’s a Georgia thing! I like to make muffins and freeze them for later. Looking forward to seeing what you have in mind for winter.

    • I’m definitely a walnut fan πŸ˜„ and keep these muffins in the freezer as well. If I didn’t, I might just eat them all.
      Thanks for the SP link. I’m still waiting to hear on the destruction around Lamar, but do know our RV park was totaled. The park handyman road out the storm in the main building which partially collapsed. He’s lucky to be alive. He lost his RV and car. He doubts the park will be up and running anytime soon. We may check with some other RV parks in the area thinking insurance adjusters should be out of the area by Jan. but I’m not holding out much hope, unfortunately 😒 We’ll go back when the timing seems right.

  8. I am so sorry about your beloved Rockport!! I so enjoyed reading about your winter in that area and the many birds and other wildlife you photographed!! So much loss!! Now I think i might make some banana muffins too!!

    We are so excited to actually get to travel after Labor Day!! Of course, our problem has been health related!! Lord willing, that is easing up!!

    Safe travels!!

    • So glad to hear things are easing up for you and you’ll be able to roll again. Life can certainly be challenging, and I know the folks in Texas have been hit hard. Safe and happy travels to you!

  9. I actually thought of you two when we heard Harvey hit Rockport. We’d never heard of it until we’ve read your posts! So of course, it’s on our places to visit when we can get to Texas. Praying for its recovery!
    Two months has been our longest stay. Know you’re excited to hit the road!

    • We truly enjoyed our summer in Prescott and can see it as a potential place for a ‘home base’. The last few years I looked at properties in TX, but the fear of storms took the Gulf Coast area out of consideration… wonderful place to visit though. We too are praying for a quick recovery although I’m afraid it may take the area a long time 😫

  10. Dear Al and Ingrid,
    We really miss both of you already. We were at the Kaibab National Forest before coming to Prescott Valley and we loved it. Your banana nut muffins look yummy. I share your thoughts about Hurricane Harvey and I am glued to the news to see the latest photos. Hurricane Irma is approaching fast as well. Comfort food is necessary. Keep in touch!
    Big hug,
    Nancy and Lewis

    • Hey Nancy – nice to hear from you. We found a great boondock spot south of the Grand Canyon and are loving it. Although we really settled in nicely in Prescott and made some wonderful friends this summer πŸ˜‰ Enjoy exploring the area and hope you’ll be able to get the wheels rolling soon. Stay in touch and we look forward to reconnecting in another beautiful spot sometime.

  11. Do you have a backup plan for this winter, Ingrid? Having just been to Rockport, it is sad to see what happened there. I watched the radar with horror as the eye passed directly over it.

    • We too watched with horror. Our friends heard from the handyman living at the RV park where we always stay and he’s lucky to be alive. He doesn’t think the park will be up and running anytime soon. So very sad. Our plan B is to stay in the west but since we don’t have any res during peak season (Jan, Feb, Mar) we’ll probably do mostly boondocking in the desert in western AZ and venturing a bit into CA (Salton Sea, Borrego Springs, Joshua Tree). We’re still holding out hope that at the last minute we can find an RV Park in TX near where the guys put in the boat.

    • I love these muffins … almost as good as mom’s banana bread. Yes, it is heartbreaking to see the devastation in Texas. Hopefully, I can do my small part to help out.

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